While not always heart-related, some causes of chest pain, such as a heart attack, can be life threatening.
Go to the nearest ER or call 9-1-1 if you have chest pain and experience:
- Difficulty breathing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Pain that spreads from the chest to the neck, jaw, or one or both shoulders or arms
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Fast or irregular pulse
- Signs of shock (severe weakness, inability to stand or walk)
If you are at a high risk for a heart attack or heart disease and are experiencing chest pain combined with any of the above symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
Chest pain can be associated with any of the following conditions:
- Heart Attack - blockage in the coronary arteries; often accompanied by chest pressure, sweating and other symptoms
- Angina - caused by poor blood flow through the blood vessels of the heart
- Coronary artery disease (CAD) - the most common type of heart disease; can lead to a heart attack
- Blood clot or blockage
- Gallstones - often occurring soon after a meal or consuming fatty foods
- Heartburn or acid reflux - indigestion felt as a burning sensation in the chest, caused by acid regurgitation into the esophagus
- Pneumonia - infection in the lung(s) can cause pain with breathing
- Muscle sprain or strain - most commonly in the muscles and tendons between the ribs, due to improper movement or overuse
- Panic attacks - usually accompanied by fast breathing and/or stress
This list is not inclusive of all possible medical emergencies. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 and seek immediate medical attention.